U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper Says Homegrown Extremists Tops Terrorist Threat List

Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper
Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper
Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

U.S. Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper has warned of homegrown extremist posing significant threat to the U.S. security in 2016.

Clapper who is a retired lieutenant general in the United States Air Force and is currently the Director of National Intelligence said in a summary for Congress of the perils facing the nation globally.

He also served as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) from 1992 until 1995.

Clapper’s Assessment

Islamic State or ISIL threat likely to continue citing more youthful jihadists are likely to be drawn to the group citing the era of highly sophisticated media.

Islamic State are heavily relying on media to push their agenda and individuals in the United States or abroad may draw inspiration from the group via their media channels without direct guidance from ISIL leadership.

Clapper’s far-ranging prepared testimony also cited Iran’s support for terrorism and the development of offensive cyber security capabilities by Russia, China and North Korea.

Clapper’s further assessment of other world trouble spots

  • Clapper warned that Iran remains a threat to world security and accused it sponsoring terrorism.
  • The Islamic Republic and its terrorist partner such as Hezbollah remain a huge terrorist threat to U.S. interests and partners worldwide.
  • Warns that Al-Qaeda and its affiliates have proven resilient and are positioned to make gains in 2016 citing jihadist supremacy wars between Al Qaeda and Islamic State.
  • In Afghanistan, the intelligence forecasts that there will be intense fighting in 2016 than 2015 citing decade trend of deteriorating challenges.
  • Clapper further noted that joint forces fighting Islamic State in Iraq will probably make incremental battlefield gains through spring 2016.
  • Clappers cited efforts to combat the terrorists are undercut because Iraq’s Sunni population is fearful of the Shi’ite-dominated government in Baghdad and Shi’ite militias supported by Iran.
  • Clapper blamed on declining oil pricing in In Iraq, declining straining the ability of the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdish regional administration to operations against Islamic State and other terrorists groups.
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On cyber security, Clapper claimed Russia, China, other countries “will almost certainly continue developing” offensive hacking weapons.

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